Pastel work tops showcase

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Photo gallery

Diana de Santis' portrait, entilted "Maria," was awarded first prize. Photo by Christina Santucci
Natalie Carbone (l.) stands aside her second-place winning entry "Cherry Blossoms" and her other submission, "Enchantment," with young artist Angelique Toomer. Photo by Rich Bockmann
Surendra Rose Horn's sculpture "Perpetual Embrace" is on display at the show. Photo by Christina Santucci
Jazz vocalist Veronica Nunn (r.) performs with pianist Charles Blenzig during the opening reception of the Bayside Historical Society's 11th annual art exhibit. Photo by Christina Santucci

A pastel portrait entitled “Maria” by artist Diana de Santis was awarded first prize Sunday in the Bayside Historical Society’s 11th annual art show.

The Whitestone artist said Maria is a young woman she knows who “just happened to be trying on a gown that I thought was quite lovely.”

Nearly 40 artists from Queens and Long Island are exhibiting works, including water colors, acrylics, pastels, photographs and sculptures through Jan. 29 at the Castle in Fort Totten Park at 208 Totten Ave.

The jurors’ notes said de Santis’ work was “an extremely competent pastel portrait that appears to be done from life, showing a subtle color palette and bravura handling.”

Second-place prize went to Natalie Carbone, a Jamaica native who now lives on Long Island, for her pastel work “Cherry Blossoms.” The jurors noted the painting is a “confident, spontaneous and loosely handled work, with a sense of urgency that appears as if it were done on site. The artist has been very selective, editing what to include and what to omit.”

Carbone’s other submission, “Enchantment,” is composed of pencil and pressed flowers.

“The Victorians loved pressing flowers into an art form,” said the artist, who earned a fine arts degree from St. John’s University. “They would just go out to their gardens and pick them.”

Angelique Toomer, a 10th-grader in the art program at Bayside High School, roamed around the second-floor gallery with her mother, Runita, examining the different artists’ works.

Angelique, who enjoys drawing animals, said her favorite piece was Beryl Bush-Bain’s “Tri-Color Collie.”

“I like the colors and the expression,” she said of the pastel on paper painting.

Carbone is a family friend of the Toomers and used to give lessons to the young artist.

“She’s super. She’s spectacular. She’s profoundly prodigious,” said Carbone, extolling the work ethic of her more taciturn protege. “The greatest advice a teacher can give to a student is, ‘You must be disciplined enough to draw every day.’ She draws at ease, like it’s breathing to her. She’s superfluous; she writes as well. She’s versatile!”

Artist Charles Benz took third place for his oil on canvas work “Nantucket House on Wharf.” Honorable mentions went to Roslyn Forst for her acrylic painting “Politics” and Donald Zwerling for the watercolor “The Grocery Store.”

Amateur photographer Marvin Berkeley submitted two works, one of Louie’s Oyster Bar in Port Washington, L.I., and another of a waterfall in Quebec, where he went on a cruise with his wife, Rochelle, who submitted two paintings.

Berkeley said he often tried to take photos of the most complex landscapes he could find, which his wife would then paint.

“She always said I made her a better painter,” he said, and then added with a little more than a hint of self-deprecating humor, “The biggest insult is some people tell me, ‘I like the painting better than the photo!’”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Posted 6:55 pm, January 18, 2012
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Reader feedback

Atsuko Bailey from Los Angeles says:
Dear Mr. Bockman,

I am long time Natalie's friend but I lost contact 2 years ago.
I was thinking of her long long time and I found your picture on the website.

I really understand you are not necessary to send this message for her.

But please, please let her know, I am looking forward to talking with her. I am still living LA and I sent a Christmas card 2013 and it was returned.

My name is Atsuko Bailey. 818-468-4999.

Best regards,
March 26, 2014, 6:06 pm

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